We all want our hands and nails looking and feeling their best, but sometimes it is hard to make it into the salon to get a regular manicure. The time alone in getting out of the house to get to your nail appointments can really add up, not to mention the cost of keeping up on your manicures. To save time and money, doing your own manicures at home can be a lifesaver.
There are a few essential steps in taking care of your hands and nails at home. We will take you step-by-step through the process of a manicure so you know exactly how to do it yourself.
Round-Up the Right Tools and Products
The first step in your DIY manicure is going to be preparing a station with the right tools and products that you’ll need. Here are some manicure essentials:
- Cotton Swabs or Cotton Rounds
- A Large Bowl with Warm Water
- Gentle Cleanser
- Nail Polish Remover
- Nail buffer and nail file
- Cuticle nippers
- Base Coat Polish
- Nail Polish
- Topcoat Polish
Once you’ve got everything ready, you can sit down with your hands on a towel and get started.
Remove Old Nail Polish
Out with the old, and in with the new. Before you get started on making your nails and hands look and feel amazing, you’ll want to remove the old polish if there is any. Use a gentle nail polish remover and cotton rounds to take your polish off so you can start with a clean slate.
Give Nails Shape
Once your nails are clean and ready to get started, you’ll want to shape them. To do this, you can use clippers if your nails are longer than you desire. Once they are the length you’re looking for, use an emery board to file them into shape. A rounded nail is usually the best way to ensure you don’t scratch anything or anyone with sharp edges. You can either round the nails completely, or create a square-rounded edge.
Once you’ve created the shape you’d like, take your nail buffer or emery board to lightly buff the surface of the nail to prepare it for polish.
Soak, Soak, Soak
The best part of the manicure is the warm water your hands get to soak in. This is actually a crucial step in preparing your cuticles for trimming. Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water for about 3 minutes. You can add a gentle cleanser, like a shampoo or a face cleanser in the water to clean your hands and give them a nice smell.
Once your cuticles have been soaked, they are ready to be cleaned up. Take your cuticle nippers and use them to trim off the free edges where the cuticle has overgrown. To do this, you can push the cuticle back gently and clip the areas where there is extra skin. Be very careful in doing this, the cuticles protect the nail bed from a number of problems are very important. You want to make sure you leave the cuticles fully intact so they can do their job.
During this step, you can also clip any hangnails or dead skin around the fingers.
Once your fingers are all cleaned up and looking great, it’s time to hydrate. Use a rich hand cream to moisturize and replenish the skin. Our favorite is L’Occitane Roses Et Reines Hand and Nail Cream. During this step, you’ll also want to take care to moisturize your cuticles. Good cuticle oil is the best way to do this. We love L’Occitane Shae Butter Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil.
Now that your hands are cleaned up and silky smooth, it’s time for the polish. To prep your nails, use a cotton pad or swab to take off any of the moisturizer that may be residing on the nails. This will prevent polish from adhering properly. Make sure the nail is completely clean and dry to prepare it for polish.
When applying polish, start with a base coat. This will strengthen your nail and prevent staining from a dark or bright nail polish. Once your basecoat is dry, apply the colored polish in thin layers. Make sure to allow each layer to dry before applying the next layer. Two coats of polish with a layer of clear topcoat should be sufficient.
Once you are finished with your manicure and your polish is completely dried, your last step is going to be to reapply your moisturizer. Keeping your hands hydrated is essential in hand care and is going to be the best way to keeping them looking and feeling great. We recommend using a serum, such as Aveda SC Hand Relief Renewal Serum, daily to keep your hands feeling hydrated and keeping the skin in good condition.